Health Insurance for International Students in USA

If you plan to study in the USA, health insurance has to be on top of your main concerns. Here is an overview of the subject of health insurance in the USA for students: types of plans, policy, what to look for, cost and so on.

Is health insurance necessary for foreign students in USA?

Unlike many countries around the world, the United States does not have a nationalized (state-owned) health care system. This means that individuals are either responsible for paying for their own treatment from their own pocket or having private health insurance to cover the costs of their medical bills.

As a matter of fact, many international students are trapped by healthcare costs in the United States. They are also not fully aware of the importance of purchasing a good insurance plan covering the duration of their studies.

Student Health Insurance in USA

Basically, health insurance is designed for international students to cover most of their medical costs. In addition to working usually with a network of physicians who have been hired to offer discounted rates in terms of medical services. This shall make your overall visit affordable.

Visa-related health insurance in USA for international students

International student healthinsurance requirements vary depending on the students’ situations. There aretwo types: J1 visa and F1 visa.

Health insurance for J-1 visa holders

As part of visa J requirements (this visa is for individuals participating in exchange or training programs), students and researchers must subscribe and maintain an insurance plan that meets a specific list of government requirements.

Health insurance for F1 visa students

This visa is issued to international students who will enroll in an academic study program or an English program at a US university or college. International students holding an F-1 visa do not have compulsory government requirements. Instead, they must subscribe to insurance that meets their study requirements.

Depending on the college or university, the students may be asked to purchase a group insurance plan. Moreover, they may have the opportunity to choose by themselves the insurance plan that is appropriate for them.

Learn also how to get a student visa to USA for international students.

School Insurance Plans / Compulsory Plans

As mentioned above,international students holding F-1 visas should follow their school’s healthinsurance guidelines. Depending on the institution, students may be required toenroll in a school plan or may have the option to choose their own coverage.

These are the three most common insurance cases you may encounter:

School Compulsory InsurancePlan

All international studentswill be required to register and pay to cover the school’s insurance plan.Typically, the only way to avoid this insurance plan is to prove that youalready have adequate health coverage (through your employer, spouse, orsponsoring government).

School-sponsored insurance plan:

International students have the option to enroll in the school/university plan. However, they also have the option to choose the insurance plan on their own, on the condition that it complies with the list of requirements set by the school.

Unlimited health insuranceplan:

While it is not a popularoption, some schools do not have specific insurance requirements for theirinternational students. Thus, students have complete freedom to choose theinsurance plan they wish.

Best health insurance for international students in USA

When evaluating student health insurance plans, it is important to find an option that suits your needs. Everyone is a unique case. For this reason, it is important to consider your health, the activities you do, and your financial capacity to determine the health insurance plan that best suits you.

Here are some of the most recommended insurance options: 

AETNA international student health insurance

This health insurance for international students works with many universities in the USA. What stands out with this policy is that students get coverage nationwide and even when they travel back to their home country. The insurance also gives students access to a national network of doctors, hospitals and specialists throughout the USA. 

Compass Student Insurance

Another name that often comes back is Compass which offers health insurance coverage for international students and scholars in the USA. International students who are holders of a F-1 visa or a J-1 one, as well as OPT students can benefit from this insurance. They offer multiple package plans you can choose from depending on your needs. 

ISO international student health insurance 

ISO is a lead provider of health insurance for foreign students in the USA since the 50s. They have 4 policy options you can choose from and provide students with their outstanding multilingual support including Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and many more. In other words, everything is settled to meet the needs of international students.

Specified interest fees

The Specified interest fees limit the amount health insurance will pay in a given case. For example, an insurance policy may include mental health, but only $50 a day. On the other hand, some insurance policies determine this maximum in the returned benefit list, while others determine these maximum limits within the policy formulation.

Be sure to read carefully andlook for any restrictions on health coverage. Contact your licensed insuranceagent if you have any questions.

Are you thinking of studying in America?

See also:

10 US universities and institutes accessible to International students.

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